For social butterflies, networking seems like the easiest way to build a freelance business. Since they feel at ease in a crowd, an opportunity to meet new people and strike up conversations is something to look forward to rather than something to fear.
So why do extroverts need advice? Because while the life of the party is busy bopping from group to group, he might be missing out on the chance to make meaningful connections that will develop into the next gig or partnership.
Use these tips from Sara Horowitz’s The Freelancer's Bible to get the most out of your next networking event:
TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE
Listen to yourself network. Are you sucking up all the oxygen in the room? Ask at least two questions of every person you meet.
BE SELECTIVE TO BE EFFECTIVE
There are only so many people with whom you can develop the kind of relationship that builds real trust, referrals, and work. Consider what will really propel your career, learning, or enjoyment, and focus on those relationships.
DEPTH BEATS BREADTH
Choose some subjects you want to get really knowledgeable about and go to those events. You’ll get more out of groups personally and professionally if you get involved—so how many can you realistically join? People will notice if you’re doing more flitting than fitting in.
ASK, “WHAT DID I LEARN?”
As you sort through the business cards you picked up at an event, ask yourself what you learned from each person. It’s a good test of “Did you talk less, listen more?”
If you’re an extrovert, continue embracing the strengths that have already helped you stand out in a crowd. These suggestions are meant to improve your networking techniques and keep your freelancing career robust.
Everything you need to know to have the career of your dreams--on your terms. Pick up a copy of The Freelancer’s Bible now.